Skip to main content

1,400 poor Dalit, Muslim houses "under threat" of demolition in Mumbai: Lack of grievance mechanism alleged

Cheeta Camp slum, Trombay
By Our Representative
Amidst claims of ‘housing For all’ and ‘affordable housing’, the Maharashtra government in alliance with the local body administration of Mumbai allegedly again threatening to demolish homes of around 1,400 poor Dalit and Muslim families. Two slum areas -- Bheemchhaya in Kannamwar Nagar, Vikhroli and Cheeta Camp in Trombay -- are set to be razed to ground by bulldozers.
Bheemchhaya is a Dalit majority community with 800 households, while Cheeta Camp is a Muslim majority slum community with 600 households. The demolition will be carried out by the Maharashtra Forest Department.
Government claims that these areas are notified as forest and need be free of encroachment. Contesting this, civil rights organization Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) has said in a statement, forwarded to Counterview, the demolitions are being threatened "without following the due process of law and making enough provisions for grievance redressal."
The Forest Department has announced the demolition of Cheeta Camp will be carried out tomorrow and Bheemchhaya on a later date. GBGBA insists, "There can be no eviction without rehabilitation. Due process of law ought to be followed before carrying out the demolition drive."
"No notices of demolition have been served to the affected families", GBGBA points out, adding, "These slums are protected as per Maharashtra Slum Act but the Forest Department has notified these areas as ‘reserved forest’ and is disrespecting the housing rights of the slum dwellers by refusing to rehabilitate the protected slum dwellers."
Heavy police forces have deployed for the demolition drive. "Local police station of Cheeta Camp is terrorising Muslim youths and threatening them of dire consequences if they try to resist the demolition drive", reports GBGBA.
"In Bheemchhaya, the Forest Department has issued orders of demolition on false grounds without providing the aggrieved slum dwellers any mechanism to appeal against the order", says GBGBA, adding, "This action will amount to violation of section 3 of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 which prohibits eviction of member of a Dalit community without following due process of law."
Blaming the Maharashtra government of disregarding the vulnerabilities of the Dalits and minority communities by demolishing their only shelter, GBGBA says, "This will lead to further marginalisation of these communities."
Appealing the state government to stop this demolition of homes of vulnerable families with children, GBGBA has asked members of civil society, political organisations and concerned citizens of the city to stand up against this "injustice."
"We appeal everyone to visit Bheemachaya and Cheetah Camp to initiate dialogue with members of the community and persuade the state government to resolve matters by dialogue and mutual consent rather than brute police force", says GBGBA, adding, "The city belongs to everyone and it is the government’s responsibility to ensure housing to all".
"Instead, for years what Mumbai is witnessing is 'snatching away’ of homes, life and livelihood by that very state that should protect the poor, vulnerable and marginalised", the civil rights body believes, adding, "We must come together to prevent another gross injustice in the name of demolition".

Comments

Unknown said…
good. thats for trying to mention the word MUSLIM for cheAP publicity

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

A locked up offer? Govt of India 'not serious' in involving NGOs: IIM-A survey

By Rajiv Shah
Was the Government of India serious when it asked 92,000 civil society organizations (CSOs) in early April to “assist” state governments and district administrations in taking care of food, shelter and other needs of migrant workers, known to have been affected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ sudden 21-day lockdown in order to “combat” the spread of Covid-19 virus, announced on March 24?

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

'Violation' of migrant workers' human rights: Legal notice to IIM-A director, govt babus

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the police action against protesting migrant workers off the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on May 18, senior Gujarat High Court advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, in a legal notice to the IIM-A director "on their behalf" has said that the workers had only been seeking to to go back to their home states, Jharkhand and West Bengal, for the last more than 20 days because they were not paid their “earned wages because of the lockdown.”

Sitharaman's offer for rural jobs to 'create' just 3 crore rural jobs. Demand: 12 crore jobs

By Amarjeet Kaur*
The final package, the fifth one in a row, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 17 was a fiasco. Sitharaman during her press conference for two hours and six minutes spent more than an hour detailing the policy actions of her government’s last six years’ rule, repeating the already provided proposals during the two budgets after coming to power for the second time, even as reiterating her briefings on the four earlier packages she had announced over the previous four days.